DRC (MNN) — We updated you last week on the surge of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has become so dangerous in some areas that Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) had to move their base to Bunia.
However, MAF staff are not the only ones who’ve had to move. Jon Cadd, east DRC security manager with MAF says, “Because of the fighting that is going on, a lot of IDPs, internally displaced people [and] refugees, they are all moving into Bunia [among other places.]”
The IDP camps in Bunia now has over 20,000 people. As soon as they saw the needs, local believers stepped up with the help of MAF.
Cadd says, “Local churches got together and started trying to gather food and feed them — a totally impossible task for their resources and what was around. Some of our missionary wives wrote some letters and got a fund going to support that. We started feeding and helping the refugees before a lot of the big NGOs and the UN got involved.”
MAF came alongside Congolese Christians delivering food, blankets, tarps, and other relief supplies to IDPs.
“The tarps are just over little sticks and stuff, but it’s keeping them out of the weather during the rainy season,” Cadd says. “There are rivers of water running through the camp. It’s a very difficult life, even though we’re trying to give them stuff to help out.”
MAF partners with Pastor Bisoke, a local Christian leader with a passion for serving refugees and orphans in Jesus’s name. Together, they started a biblical counseling outreach in the IDP camp and sewing classes for refugee women, funded with the help of MAF donors.
One of the most exciting ministries in the IDP camp is showing the JESUS Film.
Cadd says, “I was trying to get an idea of how many people came during this first time to the showing of the JESUS Film. Our pastor Bisoke said, ‘Many, too many people are coming. It’s amazing.’ And I said, ‘Well, you do this all the time. Give me an estimate. You know if there’s 200 people or 500 people. Just give me a rough estimate.’
“He said, ‘All of them. All the people in the IDP camp. There could be 20,000 people there!’”
After the first JESUS Film showing, Pastor Bisoke invited people to give their lives to Jesus — and hundreds responded.
Please pray for MAF staff’s safety as they continue to work in the IDP camps. In recent weeks, militia groups have targeted IDP camps outside of Bunia and a number of people have been killed.
The DRC may be reeling from violence, crime, and bloodshed. But God has not forgotten this country. Even in a place as desolate as an IDP camp, God is mobilizing the Church to spread His hope.
Click here to learn more about MAF’s work in the DRC!
Header photo depicts IDP camp in eastern DRC, courtesy of MAF.